By Bárbara Guelfi, founder and CEO of Kivalita Consulting
From the idealization to the realization of a laboratory project, there are several important steps that must be considered. And believe me, one is directly connected or supported by the other. But not always the entrepreneurs and managers at the head of the project have at hand enough knowledge and the answers to deal immediately with the challenges that will arise along this path.
Next, we will list some problems and what unforeseen events may occur, capable of compromising the final outcome of the project.
- Lack of information to determine the products that will be produced in the laboratory at the beginning and considering the next 10 years.
There are so many elements to worry about when you’re starting a laboratory project. We have to think from the type of product to be analyzed, that is: what does the company have an interest in analyzing and handling in the laboratory? Water, food, food, cosmetics, industrial waste or medicines?
Depending on what is produced and handled, the entire configuration of the laboratory should be adequate to what it will require, with forecast for the following years. The most assertive project, therefore, is the one that can contemplate the main demands provisioned, within five to ten years of products, so as not to run the risk of significant changes in the laboratory, making the project and business unfeasible.
Even estimating a laboratory of “general” analyses, changes and investments are significant when dealing, for example, with a laboratory that analyzes only water when compared to what performs analysis of medicines or pharmaceutical inputs. The regulations and equipment are quite different.
Thus, it is necessary to think, from the beginning, in the location of the laboratory, the required health license, documentation related to the study and operational activities (QMS), the required quality, and much more.
- Lack of adequate evaluation for gas infrastructure, air system and laboratory chapels can lead to accidents.
To define the ideal air system of a laboratory project, it is necessary to understand which analyses will be performed on it. A physical-chemical laboratory, for example, requires a greater concern with the concentration of volatile reagents – such as solvents that evaporate and particulates when sampling. Therefore, it is necessary to perform the dilution and removal of these pollutants, through resources such as a localized exhaust system (aiming to reduce the load of pollutants, preventing them from dissipating on site). There are also chapels, hoods, among others.
In the face of an incident, you have to be agile. The ideal is, in fact, to prevent it, before it happens. For this and other issues, there are resources that can be foreseen and contemplated in the idealization of the project. Even if this is done, such resources can only be handled by qualified technical professionals who know their due limitations.
The market knows only the NRs applicable to LPG (cooking gas) and not other specific laboratory gases, which require different infrastructure and handling such as Nitrogen, Oxygen, etc. Examples of safety detection include gas sensors, which must be connected to the cylinder shut-off valves, so that once an incident is detected, they can automatically block the gas outflow. In addition, remote cylinder pressure monitoring technology is already available.
- Lack of forecast of periodic maintenance in equipment and safety systems to avoid accidents.
Often maintenance forecasts end up getting in the background in a project and occur only for one-off repairs, solving issues when they appear. And this can bring serious problems to professionals working in the laboratory environment.
The poor positioning of ‘eyewash” or even its lack of maintenance, can contribute to a serious accident, if the professional has his eyes exposed to a gas or chemical in the chapel and needs to wash them immediately. This, due to a lack of maintenance of the EPC or even because it was installed in an incorrect location, difficult to access, so that the person can not wash them.
- Lack of competent professionals, to assist in quick decision making.
The entrepreneur and the project manager must also include the support of specialists or a multidisciplinary team to be part of the project, who have ample knowledge necessary for making agile and correct decisions about the laboratory and its proposed operations to be carried out by the company.
Based on a global vision, considering business strategy, safety, product types, quality system and laboratory analysts, the result benefits all parties, minimizing failures, inadequate spaces, environmental and safety risks, losses and project delays.
Recently, Kivalita Consulting launched an e-book “Laboratory projects, where to start”, which brings answers to the problems listed here and others related to the topic. Just click this link, to download this e-book for free and get more information about it.
Consider that many are the benefits, when the laboratory project provides competent professionals for agile and assertive decision making, at each stage. Not to mention that a consistent laboratory project:
- It brings greater cost reduction (both in the short and long term),
- Ensures compliance with the laws in force of the sector;
- Prioritizes the protection of the health of teams against risks of accidents.
- And more.
Did you like that article? Also read our other post, on the Kivalita Consulting Blog: “How to assemble your lab from scratch to compliance”.
Have you met Kivalita Consulting?
We, Kivalita Consulting, are a consultancy with a multidisciplinary team, which focuses on quality management, technologies and laboratory projects that support companies to go further, meeting not only compliance with legislation, but ensuring that efficient process management makes the business much more profitable, reducing risks with costs, waste and rework.
With our expertise, we can help you overcome the challenges of a laboratory project, evaluating it to fit it in the best scope of contract, aiming to cover from the preparation of regulatory and quality documentation, LTA and base project to total infrastructure, considering the QMS (Quality Management Systems) and specialized laboratory labor for the start of work and marketing. Talk to us and learn more!